Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"Doing the PRACTICAL to Release the SUPERNATURAL"

The following is rather long. However, it is good, and I think some folks who don't feel like they are on the level with "the spiritual big guys" will be set free to know they have huge impact and give God great freedom in wonderfully simple ways.

Bill Yount: "Doing the PRACTICAL to Release the SUPERNATURAL"by Bill Yount Aug 26, 2008
2 Kings 3:11-12, "But Jehoshaphat said, 'Is there not here a prophet of the LORD, that we may inquire of the LORD by him?' And one of the king of Israel's servants answered and said, 'Here is Elisha the son of Shaphat, WHO POURED WATER ON THE HANDS OF ELIJAH.' And Jehoshaphat said, 'The word of the LORD is with him.' So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him."

It is believed that Elisha spent his first ten years ministering to Elijah. Even after Elijah departed, he was known as "Elisha...who used to pour water on the hands of Elijah."

Elijah was known as a lonely prophet and ended up battling depression in a cave thinking he was the only one left that was living for God at that time.

Elisha's ministry doubled in miracles, seemingly with less fanfare with the emphasis more on serving compassion to people. Elisha seemed to even downplay the "hoop de dah" of miracles and seemed to weave the practical side of life into the miraculous, showing that in our everyday, ordinary activities lie the "stuff" that lead us into the supernatural realm of miracles, signs and wonders!

THE SUPERNATUAL AT WORK IN OUR EVERYDAY ORDINARY LIVES

The word practical means "pertaining to be useful in ordinary everyday activities or work."

In 2 Kings 5:1-14, you can read the whole story of how Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, a great man with his master and very honorable, received his miracle in a very practical, ordinary way. It starts with a little maid who was taken captive out of the land of Israel who waited on Naaman's wife. She said to Naaman's wife (verse 3), "Would to God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy."

This great miracle begins with a little maid wanting to do good to Naaman, although she had been taken captive by his soldiers. It must have been humbling to Naaman to listen to this little, captive maid and start his journey for his healing to see this prophet, Elisha. 2 Kings 5:9, "So Naaman came...and stood at the door of the house of Elisha."

Elisha sends a messenger to him saying (verse 10): "Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean." Naaman gets upset for he doesn't even get to see the prophet make a big deal of his healing (verse 11): "I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper."

Naaman even thought that this prophet picked the wrong river to go dipping in. He knew of better rivers that he preferred, and anger rose up in Naaman (verse 13): "And his servants came near and spake unto (Naaman), and said, 'My father, if the prophet had bid thee to do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? How much rather then, when he saith to thee, "Wash, and be clean?"'" Naaman finally obeyed and was healed of his leprosy.

Can you see the practical things the prophet told Naaman to do to receive his healing? Naaman never even got to see the prophet Elisha until after his healing! I believe Elisha learned through serving Elijah many years by doing many practical things, such as pouring water on Elijah's hands, that supernatural miracles and healings begin right there.

JESUS WENT ABOUT DOING GOOD TO PEOPLE. AS A RESULT HEALINGS AND MIRACLES HAPPENED!

Acts 10:38, "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him."
Lately, as I've read this verse, the words "doing good" jumped out at me. Imagine Jesus being filled with the Holy Ghost and power and all He wants to do with all that power is to just walk around "doing good" to people! It sounds like healing and miracles were not the first thing on His mind. Of course, healings and miracles took place, but it was the result of His love and compassion to help people.

His passion was people, not healings or miracles. Whatever it took to do good to people would then take place, even if it took a miracle or healing, for He wanted to do them good! Signs and wonders followed Him as His compassion moved Him towards people. It seems that "doing good" things, which included practical things like holding children in His arms, eating with publicans and sinners, and letting a prostitute wash his dirty feet, often released revelation that others needed to experience the supernatural.

Recently, I had a dream of a crying child that someone was holding that could not be comforted. As the person handed me the child to hold, it became calm and peaceful in my arms. As I was holding this child, I saw a small gift wrapped at my feet that began to leak out like a small drop of oil from the inside of it. I thought at first some kind of liquid bottle inside the gift must have broken and caused this drop to appear on the ground.

As I continued to hold the child, this dripping continued out of this gift until it began to flow freely all over the floor without stopping. People's attention was drawn to what appeared to be oil flowing from this gift that was still wrapped up. I could see that many were drawn to this oil flowing out of it, but I knew that by me just holding and comforting this troubled child was what was causing this awesome anointing oil to be released from this small gift.

God was showing me something. "Bill, if you are willing to begin to take your eyes off of your so-called gifting and are willing to do some practical, needed things in people's lives, My anointing will begin to flow out of your life as a result of you getting closer to people, instead of you focusing on your gift." I, for one, plan to be more sensitive to small children.

DID THE FIVE THOUSAND EVEN KNOW THAT THEIR 'MIRACLE' MEAL WAS CATERED BY A LITTLE BOY'S BAG LUNCH?

In Luke 9:13, Jesus said to His disciples when they wanted to send the multitudes away, "You give them something to eat!" And then He told His disciples to make the multitude sit down by fifties in a company.

Imagine the practicality of having the disciples getting five thousand men, besides the women and children, to sit down by fifties! And then as Jesus blessed the five loaves and two fishes, He gave them to His disciples to hand out...now that's "practical hospitality."

Notice the practical things the disciples did which were woven into this miracle. This all seems so practical, but watch what happens...here comes a miracle on the heels of "practicality"!

I don't read anywhere that a big announcement was made to the multitude that their meal was catered by a little boy's bag lunch. Jesus didn't seem to make a big deal out of the miracle. He even made it look like the disciples fed them all! This miracle looked so practical in the making.
Of course, the miracle of multiplying the food took place, but His priority was to get those five thousand growling stomachs so full that there would be twelve baskets left over! Since it took a miracle to feed these people, that's what Jesus used. The miracle was just part of the journey of His goal to feed them.

This miracle seemed to have practical applications woven all throughout it, beginning with the mother who fixed an ordinary bag lunch for her son. Was Jesus teaching His disciples that in doing the practical, everyday, ordinary, mundane things of doing good for people lies the ingredients of the supernatural?

Here's a quote from Max Lucado's Grace for the Moment Vol. 2: "Work Can Be Worship":
"Have you seen the painting 'The Angelus' by Jean-Francis Millet? It portrays two peasants praying in their field. A church steeple sits on the horizon and a light falls from Heaven. The rays do not fall on the church, however. They don't fall on the bowed heads of the man and woman. The rays of the sun fall on the wheelbarrow and the pitchfork at the couple's feet. God's eyes fall on the work of our hands. He blurs the secular and sacred."

IT SEEMS THAT THE FIRST WEDDING MIRACLE OF TURNING WATER INTO WINE WAS INTENDED TO MAKE THE BRIDEGROOM LOOK GOOD! John 2:1-11

This miracle is performed with such practicality that the bridegroom gets the credit for throwing a great party!

John 2:6, "And there were set there six waterpots of stone..." In verse 7 Jesus says to them, "'Fill the waterpots with water.' And they filled them up to the brim." Jesus then says to them (verse 8), "'Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast.' And they bare it (to the governor)."
Continuing in verses 9 and 10, when the governor of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, he didn't know where it came from, but the servants which drew the water knew. The governor then calls for the bridegroom to praise the bridegroom for serving the best wine at the end of the party!

Again, I hear no announcement of a miracle from the lips of Jesus or His disciples. No one seemed to know but the servants and the disciples that Jesus turned the water into wine. Again, the miracle of this feast wasn't the goal, but it seemed Jesus wanted to do good to the bridegroom and to bless the party with the best wine. Since it took a miracle, that's what He did. This, of course, did help His disciples to believe on Him (verse 11).

Again, was Jesus teaching His disciples practical steps in creating this miracle and getting other people involved to help someone else receive the blessing from it? In a way, He was letting His disciples know that "you can do this," if it's in your heart to do good to people!

LIGHT DOESN'T SAY A WORD...IT JUST SHINES!

Matthew 5:14, 16, "Ye are the light of the world...Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven."

When you walk into a dark room you don't start fighting the darkness so light can come. You just turn the lights on. The light of the world does not argue with darkness, fight, or even try in any way to remove the darkness. It cannot be extinguished by any darkness. It is the light! Darkness can only exist in the absence of light. Light is a symbol of spiritual presence and power.

I know a pastor who was continually counseling a dear woman who seemed to be turning her husband off by always preaching to him and telling him how he should be living. After many counseling sessions with no change in the wife or her husband, the frustrated pastor finally said to the wife, "Sister, do you see that light bulb up there in the ceiling? It is giving out light without saying a word! Jesus wants you to be the light in this house for your husband. Just let that light shine and your husband will be drawn to that light inside of you, which is Jesus."

AS I WATCHED MY NEW NEIGHBOR'S GRASS GROW TALLER, THE LORD SPOKE CLEARLY TO ME, 'MOW IT WITHOUT TELLING HER I TOLD YOU TO!'

Psalm 72:5-6, "They shall fear (the Lord) as long as the sun and moon endure (as long as the light is shining), throughout all generations. He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth!"

I started to mow my neighbor's yard several times and no one seemed to notice it. I found out later the neighbor woman had no husband or lawn mower. She was too busy to even thank me at first, for she was never home having to work two jobs. She finally did thank me and said she couldn't afford to pay me, but I knew that as I mowed her lawn that something was happening in the Spirit. Every place where the souls of my feet were coming down, God was giving me favor and influence by just mowing the lawn. And as verse 7 says, "He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass."

With each rain that fell upon this neighbor's mown grass, God was coming down upon this family! At first, I wanted to tell her that God had spoken to me to mow her grass for the summer, but the Lord seemed to stop me and wanted me to just let His light shine through me without getting Him involved prematurely. I am sure, like others, she has met Christians like myself and has been turned off by being disappointed in the past.

Now is my time to do something good to help others see the light at the end of the tunnel. I believe it's time for us to show people we personally care about them before we even begin to mention how much God cares.

The greatest mistake I made when I first got saved was to tell my fellow workers in the factory where I worked that I was "now a Christian," rather than let them see the difference in me. They then watched me to see if I really was, and all they seemed to see was that I wasn't perfect. I wish I would have just lived the life and let the light shine, and as they saw the difference in me they would begin to ask what had happened to me.

THE RAYS OF GOD'S SON ARE FALLING UPON OUR 'WHEELBARROWS AND PITCHFORKS'!

Romans 12:21, "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."

I believe the Lord is highlighting the need to be practical in our approach to this lost and dying world. It's overdue time to put shoe leather on our prayers and worship and overcome evil with good.

WHEN LIFE IS OVER WE WILL BE JUDGED BY WHAT 'PRACTICAL' THINGS WE COULD HAVE DONE THAT WE WERE ALL CAPABLE OF DOING!

Matthew 25:31-46, "When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory: And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats...
"Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, 'Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was enhungered, and ye gave Me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took Me in: Naked, and ye clothed Me: I was sick, and ye visited Me: I was in prison, and ye came unto Me."

As we are moved with compassion to minister to these peoples' practical needs, I believe we will experience more of the power of God upon us to be used to release the supernatural into their lives as well.

Romans 2:4, "...the goodness of God leads you to repentance."

Let's go about doing good and watch the supernatural take place!


Bill YountBlowing the Shofar MinistriesEmail: theshofarhasblown@juno.com

Bill Yount's Itinerary:
August 31, 2008
Bridge of Life Church (10:30am )
14 South Potomac
St. Hagerstown, Maryland
Contact: 301-791-1674

September 12, 2008
Our Father's Heart Ministry (7:30pm)
Calvary United Methodist Church
1321 Calvary Rd.;
Churchville, Maryland
Contact:410-671-9056 or 410-652-7637

September 14, 2008
Living Word Worship Center (10:15am)
12915 Pinehill Dr.;
Hagerstown, Maryland
Contact: 301-665-9011

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Monday, August 25, 2008

United We Stand--Prayer for our Families

Our family is in a time of change, as many of you are. The purpose of change is growth. The Bible tells us many times that we should rejoice in the changes, both easy and difficult, because the Lord is using them to mature us. God brings about change for our good.

Satan, on the other hand, wants to use change to divide us. Many people in the process of divorce say simply, "We've grown apart." I've now been married over 17 years, and what I have come to realize is that statement is truly saying, "We lacked the vision, the desire, the wisdom, or the selflessness required to change together." And Satan capitalized on it.

I have a few strategies and simple truths to remember for going through changes that I have found keep us pretty solid.
1. My vision is for us to come out the other side closer to each other and to the Lord than we were when we started.
2. Grace, grace, and more grace. Ask for it and give it. Moods, tones, and patience will waiver. Don't take it personally. Offer grace.
3. Ask forgiveness. No one else is responsible for the waivering of my moods, tones, and patience. I am responsible for those things, and I am responsible for repair work when they are damaging.
4. Remember I won't get everything I think I want.
5. I don't know the purpose or the destiny, so I better stay really close to the One who does.
6. I cannot pray for my family enough, not that they will do what I think they should, but that we will serve God as a unit embracing the work God does in us as individuals.

This morning I am praying scripture from Philippians 2 over us. Since I know so many who are fighting for their families or simply desiring to walk through change with wisdom and power, I am sharing my prayer with you.

Father, thank you for the gift of salvation that unites us with Christ. Thank you for all the promises that are yes and amen in Him. Thank you that you have promised godly change in our lives as a result of being united with your Son through the blood shed for us on the cross, through His death and resurrection. Thank you for the encouragement you've given us. Thank you for the comfort from His love and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit that leads us into all truth and works in us according to your will and purpose to bring about your glory and life eternal within us. Thank you for the tenderness and compassion you pour out on us. You are the perfect Father, and you pour out only good things. The circumstances and changes in our lives are for our good, to give us hope and a future, and we know this because all good and perfect gifts come from you. You cannot do evil, but rather you make ways for us to escape the evil one and the temptation he lays before us. Thank you, Lord God.

Father, complete our joy by making us like-minded. Show us your vision that we can be in agreement with you. Give us your heart for each other and for your world. Show Rob, Anna, Robert, and me how we can love and minister to each other and to those around us. Increase in us your love. Work in us that we would become one in Spirit and purpose. If we are acting out of selfishness or vain conceit, show us. Lead us to repentance. Do not let the enemy have a foothold in our lives, but show us how we can love with abandon as you do. Gives us hearts that serve humbly. Show us how to love others as you do. Love others through us. Help us to consider others better than ourselves, and when our flesh rises up and wants the easy road, the cushy road, or the convenient road, convict us and nag us until we turn from the ways of the world and flesh and turn to your ways. In your ways is life, and we want to be life givers.

Father, forgive us for being concerned about self, what we will get out of things, and whether things are "fair" or "equal". Forgive us for being so short-sighted and small-minded that we don't realize or we refuse to see that when others excel and are blessed, so are we. Show us how to bless others and encourage them to do great things for you. Show us how we can be part of the equipping that enables them to accomplish all you have declared over you. There is no greater joy than to see your children being all you desire them to be. Remind us of that because we easily forget.

Give us your heart, and help us to remember Jesus' joy came in serving you with abandon and making a difference in the lives of others, not in living the convenient or easy life. Put into us the desire to be like Him in every way, to give without expecting anything back. Father God, help us to remember all we have is really yours. Our time, our money, our mouths, our hands, our bodies, our very lives. Show us how to use YOUR resources for YOUR glory. Help us to remember investing in others takes time--time TVs, computers, various escapisms steal. Convict us where we waste time, money, gifts. Show us how to be the best stewards of your resources we can. Show us how to invest in the peopl in our families and to those around us.

Thank you for being the One who goes before us and behind us. Thank you for leading us through the changes and leading us back to your way when we wander off into our selfishness and small-sighted ambition. Forgive us for the ways we've sinned against you and each other. Lead us in the ways everlasting for your name's sake, and to you be all glory, power, and honor forever.

Amen.
Sunday, August 24, 2008

Prayer for America

I sing to joy to God my strength;
I shout aloud to the God of Jacob!
Begin making music, strike the tambourine,
play the melodious hard, and lyre.

Sound the ram's horn at the New Moon,
and when the moon is full, on the day of our Feast,
for the Lord has decreed that we worship Him with exuberance, delight, fascination, and honor.
This is an ordinance of the God of Jacob.
He established this as a statue for Joseph when he went out against the land of captivity.

The Lord has removed my burden from my shoulders.
He has set me hand free from hard labor.
I cried out to Him in my distress and He rescued me.
He answered me from a thundercloud.
He has tested me to see if I truly trust Him to meet all my needs.

Hear, America, the Lord is warning us,
Listen to Him!
Father, America chooses to have no foreign gods among us,
we do not bow down to alien gods.
You are our Lord and our God. There is no one but you.
You have delivered us from slavery into a land of Promise.
We open wide our mouths, and You alone fill them.
Forgive us when we have not listened to you.
Forgive us for not submitting to you.
Forgive us for following our own ways and devices.
Forgive us and do not turn us over to our own stubborness. If you do, we will die.

We choose to be your people. We choose to listen to you.
We choose to follow your ways.
Because we choose to be your people and follow your ways,
you quickly subdue our enemies
and turn your hand against our foes!
Those who hate you cringe before you,
and their punishment lasts forever.

Lord, in your great love and mercy, feed us with the finest of wheat, which is the Bread-the broken body of your Son;
satisfy us with honey from the rock, which is you Son Jesus.

Thank you, Holy and Mighty God, for all your mercies.
Amen.

--Psalm 81
Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bold and Free Thursday Three

Bold and Free Thursday Three

Three Things Not Working at my House

1. A/C

2. Dryer

3. Dishwasher


Three reasons it's not so bad:

1. Today is the first day above 80 since the A/C broke on Sunday.

2. Today it's above 80 so the clothes dry on the line.

3. It's too hot in the house to cook, so we have no dishes.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Gold, Silver, and Eternal Treasures

In the last 24 hours I've seen quite a bit of controversy surrounding the giving of a gold medal. A gold medal. Not two, which seems appropriate for a tie in gymnastics, but one determined by objective numbers given by supposedly not so objective judges.

Thus the controversy.

The issue isn't a gold medal or a silver medal. The real issue seems to be the athlete's being from the host country and the world's suspicion of the host country in general. After all, the host country is China, and they should not be trusted.

I'll be honest. I don't know about Olympic rules. I don't know a lot about gymnasticsl, and I don't know the intricacies of how scores can or cannot be fixed. There are some things I do know, though.

I know China has approximately 1.3 billion people in it.
1 out of every 5 people in the world live in China, and in that group of 1.3 billion people there are those grieving the loss of loved ones.
There are families rejoicing in the birth of a child, and there are couples working through the pain of infertility.
There are people trying to pay their bills and provide food for their families. There are children who want to dream and aren't sure if it is reasonable or not.
There are parents hoping for more for their children than what they had.
There are folks who want to serve God with all their hearts and folks who believe He's a lie.

And of those 1.3 billion people, all of them will die and either go to Heaven or Hell, whether they be the powerful leaders or those barely scratching out an existence on this earth.

I also know the writer and readers of this post can make the difference in some of those lives through the power of prayer. We simply need to see beyond the glitz of gold and silver and see those people as the eternal treasures they are. If we can do that, we all win.
Sunday, August 17, 2008

Technical Difficulties

Hello, dear ones!

I wanted to stop in to let you know that we are well at the Phillips' house. I apologize for the long delay in a new post. However, my computer is having some issues with being online. Right now I am on a borrowed computer. Rob thinks he has isolated the problem with my laptop, though, and will have it fixed sometime tonight, so prayerfully, tomorrow I will have a new post that will bless and encourage you.

Hope to see you all very soon!
Friday, August 1, 2008

I Need to be Letdown

I'm always reserved in writing about friends or situations where I am disappointed or let down. I get a bit nervous mentioning folks who hurt my feelings because they weren't "there for me". I find reactions fall into two main categories: those who want to commiserate about their own disappointments with friends and those who want to fix it all. Frankly, I can be either of those on any given day, and I understand both reactions.

However, once I get over my self-pity and self-righteous anger, my sense comes back to me, and I realize important people letting me down is a gift. The reality is I need friends to let me down sometimes. I need my husband to not always understand. I need to find myself in a place where "no one gets it".

Psalm 62:1-2 says,
"My soul finds rest in God alone;
my salvation comes from Him.
He alone is my rock, and my salvation;
He is my fortress,
I will never be shaken."

My soul finds rest in God alone.

Now, before the thought, "Well, duh," wanders through your mind, stop and think. If my friends really were always there for me, or if my husband always understood and had the answer, or if chocolate always made me feel better, why would I go to God? If answers and feeling better was only a phone call away, what would drive me to my quiet place and keep me there waiting for the Lord's voice?

Contrary to what the enemy wants us to believe, most folks don't fail us because their hearts are bad. They fail us because God is so very good. He takes away what could easily become our idols, and He forces us to seek Him.

Sadly, instead of seeing the One who wants to meet our needs, we get fixated on who can't meet our needs. I know my friends. They would do anything in their power to help me, and therein lies the wondrous and exciting revelation of God's character. The people who love me simply cannot be my everything because God wants that job for Himself, and when I get over being disappointed in the basic character of people and get focused on the simple character of God, instead of being angry, I am overwhelmed with the passion of God's love for me.

My soul finds rest in God alone.--He sets it up so I have to look at Him because He is the only one who can meet my needs, and instead of being mad at those who cannot be Him, I rejoice in all He is and gives me.

My salvation comes from Him.--He saves me from confusion, chaotic situations, defeating emotions, lies, and anything else that could defeat me or draw my heart from Him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation.--He is the only one what is forever stable, where I can go and be calm knowing He can handle anything and His heart is always for my good.

He is my fortress, and I will never be shaken.--He protects my heart from all other idols my humanness wants to trust in. He keeps me to Himself and makes it so I have to turn my eyes on Him. He loves me too much to leave me to my own devices, and I can put my full trust in Him because He is fully capable to take care of my every need and protect me from anything that could take me from Him, even myself.

Yeah, the people I love let me down sometimes...and I thank God they do because they just remind me that He never does.

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"It's not the wind in our hair that makes us free. It's the movement of the Spirit, the growth of our invisible side." --Amber Haines

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